Occasionally over the last 57 years, I have been blessed to experience the great feeling that accompany doing good deeds without expecting anything in exchange. Let me explain.

As young children, most of us learn and repeat an infamous line: “That is mine.” This is not inherently bad or unnatural; it’s a phase we undergo to make sense of the world around us. We’re centered on ourselves, what we want, what’s ours.

Discovering all that’s available, we grab or claim what we can, with the goal of getting bigger and stronger as young children and girls. Wanting to label more things “mine,” getting more control, and feeling more powerful in whatever ways we can are part of the journey. There’s no problem with this; it’s simply a natural desire.

Parents attempt to balance this by teaching us how you can share, which requires time and repetition. But this journey takes many turns, and that we often remain focused on claiming all we can for ourselves. As our fixation to get what we want moves in one thing to the next, we may do not have the capacity to shift our gaze outward or contribute anything of significance.

As we develop and life becomes more complex, the vast listing of things we could collect gets longer, which makes it difficult to feel like we will ever have enough. It’s as if we’re constantly trying to keep an endless supply of in-use batteries charged — an effort that demands our attention yet isn't quite attainable. And because our attention is directed inward toward having enough, doing good or sharing isn't a priority. This way of thinking and acting can become habitual.

With age and maturity, we usually start to see outside ourselves more often. Yet even then, the act of doing good may be motivated by the expectation of having something in exchange. Consciously or otherwise, we may expect it to eventually come full circle and pay off. And in some cases, it very well might. However this is not what I mean when I make reference to the “supreme good.”

A common translation of a quote from philosopher Lao Tzu reads: “The final good is like water, which nourishes everything without trying to.”

My interpretation of this is that the supreme good is doing good for someone or something purely with regard to doing good, with truly no expectation of payback or exchange in all forms. The seeking for more that's “mine” is put on hold and we’re content with where we are in that moment. It’s when we realize what truly brings intending to our lives.

As I mentioned earlier, I've periodically been able to experience this. In reflecting on these moments of doing good for someone, some creature, or even the planet, I am reminded of what a blessing the feeling is and just what joy it brings. Fundamental essentials rare experiences I cherish most.

I by no means want to imply, however, that i'm in this frame of mind the majority of the time. However these experiences have helped me be aware of the potential for doing good and reminded me to consider more ways to do it with this intention. It’s something I’m constantly aspiring to, even when it’s not always possible.

My expect all of you reading this column is you, too, will look for and spot these opportunities, big or small. I hope that you’ll take the time to reflect on the blessings in your daily life and that you can feel a state of contentment that allows you to do supreme good. There’s something truly special about this.